Introduction: How to Lubricate and Tension a Rubiks Cube

About: I like to play football (soccer), make things from almost any material, have fun, play guitar and solve Rubik's cubes

We all know what its like to pick up a Rubik's cube, only to find that it is to hard to turn or falls apart in your hands...

...Never again will this happen, because now, your Rubik's cube will be just how you want it to be...Perfect.


Step 1: What You Will Need

For this instructable, you will need: (fig.1)

  • a Rubik’s Speed Cube
  • a flat head screw driver
  • Rubik’s Tensioning Springs
  • Lubricant, I used the Cube Lube Rubik’s
  • Washers

You can buy all of the above at OR you can buy the Speed Cube Pro Pack here

You will also need:

  • paper towel
  • time

Step 2: Taking the Cube Apart

To condition your cube, you will need it to be in pieces...

So here goes!!

Step 1: Taking Off the Middle Piece (fig.2)

To take off the middle piece, put the head of the screw driver in to the gap at the edge of the coloured cover, push down on the handle of the screw driver and use it as a lever to take the piece out.

Step 2: Opening the Cube (fig. 2.2 and fig. 2.3

To open the cube, you must take out the screw that is under the middle piece, by screwing anticlockwise... Then you take out the surrounding pieces (this should by very easy since there is now nothing holding them in place).

Step 3: Taking Out the Rest

Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the remaining 5 sides, levering the middle piece cover out, unscrewing the screw and taking out the pieces.

When you have completed all steps you should have a piece similar to the one pictured above (fig. 2.4). We will only be working with this central piece, so you can place all the coloured pieces safely out of the way.

Step 3: Lubricating the Cube

Now its time to lubricate the piece, so that the cube turns smoothly and speedily. Since you must lubricate each individual piece, this can take a long time but the end result will be worth it, so stick with it!

Step 1: Lubricating the Corner Pieces (fig. 4)

Put a small drop of lube on all three black sides and smear around using paper towel. Repeat step until all the corner pieces have been lubricated.

Step 2: Lubricating the Edge Pieces (fig. 4.2)

Put a small drop of lube on the two black sides and smear into all the gaps, making sure everywhere is covered in a thin coating of lube. Repeat step until all edge pieces are lubricated.

Step 4: Tensioning the Cube

This part is quite probably the most fiddly part, but bear with me and you will have your personalised Rubik's cube in no time...

Step 1: Taking Apart the Central Piece (fig. 3)

You will notice that the central piece in your hands has four little wedges which stick out from the sides of the sphere. Place your thumbs and forefingers over these wedges and squeeze, eventually you will push them in and the ball will split in two... You haven't broken it... Take out the central divider and what you will be left with will look like the pieces pictured above.

Step 2: Changing the Springs (fig. 3.2)

Your speed cube would have come with tight springs inside and loose springs included in the customising pack, so if you like the feel of loose springs or just want to experiment then now is the time to change them, but if you like the feel of tight springs, then skip ahead to "lubricating the cube".

First of all you have to take out the little cylindrical plugs (the ones with a roof like square on the top), so what you want to do is just pull one towards the centre and up, if it feels like it is going to break then put it back in and try again.

Now you have to change the springs. Its pretty easy to tell the difference, but just to be sure here are the two main differences: loose springs are thinner than tight ones and it takes more strength to push the tight ones flat.

After changing the springs it is time to put the central sphere back together, so just push all the little cylindrical plugs back in place, and push the two halves back together.

From now on we will be working with the coloured pieces only so place the sphere safely out of the way.

Step 5: Putting the Cube Back Together

This is the most exciting part of this process because it means you are almost done!!

Step 1: Four Middle Pieces (fig. 5)

We will start off by putting in the white middle piece, taking a middle piece and putting a screw through it, then putting a white rubber filler over the screw and placing it securely in the hole, then taking a washer and putting that over the white filler. Then screw into the CENTRAL sphere and put the white middle piece over the top. Now put the remaining three middle pieces in and place the colours as follows, (white on bottom) clockwise, blue, red, green, orange.

Step 2: The Bottom Layer (fig. 5.2)

Stand the cube up using the white side as a base, and put all the white pieces in their appropriate places, starting with the edge pieces, and then moving to the corners.

Step 3: Second Layer (fig. 5.3)
Now place all the edge pieces in for the second layer (e.g orange/green, orange/ blue, red/blue etc.)

Step 4: The Top Layer (fig. 5.4)

We now place all the remaining pieces (excluding the last centre piece) in the appropriate spots.

Lastly, we will put in the yellow centre piece, this is the hardest part so here are some hints to help you:

  1. Put the washer down then the centre piece with the rubber filler, and lastly screw it in place.
  2. After screwing the central piece in place, give the cube a shake, if you hear rattling take the yellow piece out and put it back in again, being extremely careful, and hopefully it should be done.


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